Len Evans was bitten early and that was it. He remained an enthusiastically successful promoter of the good, familiar creature, until his untimely death in August, 2006. But after almost half-a- century of a life in wine he wasn't keen on getting into the autobiography business. ?I was asked to write my memoirs, but I didn't like the idea?for one reason "I'm still living them, and for another, my many conceits do not include a belief that my life has been particularly fascinating," he said in 1985. Well he didn't write his memoirs but he left us something else that is uniquely Evans?an anecdotal ramble through a life devoted to the production, promotion?and drinking!? of wine. There are occasional detours to paint a picture of an old mate, tell a wise or hilarious wine tale or just spin a good yarn. And there was many a yarn garnered in the new Welsh migrant's progress from ring-barking trees in the bush to washing glasses in a pub, writing comedy sketches and embarking on a career-changing role in a major hotel before becoming established as a restaurateur, vigneron and ultimately? almost inevitably?as Australia?s most influential wine personality. In 1979, Len wrote of a friend?s book: 'It's a funny book, it's a serious book. It contains something for every wine lover.' Few words could better describe what he has left us here. AUTHOR: For almost half a century the multi-talented Len Evans cajoled, charmed or bullied his fellow Australians into drinking wine. Landing in beer-soaked Australia in the mid-1950s, he took a job as glass-washer in a Sydney pub and so launched one of the wine industry's great careers. As food and beverage manager of the Chevron hotel, as director of the Australian Wine Bureau, as ' Cellarmaster' of The Bulletin, as master of the Bulletin Place restaurant, as founder of Rothbury Estate and chairman of Petaluma and Tower Estate, as the doyen of show judges , as legendary host of countless dinners and parties, Len was intimately involved with the production, promotion and - especially!-the consumption of this 'glorious drink'. Len Evans died, aged 75, on the seventeenth of August, 2006 after a life?to quote the Sydney Morning Herald obituary?as 'a promoter, taster, judge, consumer, teacher, maker and drinker of wine?. The sum of all these talents, skills and vocations made him, as the obituary heading said, 'an influence worth bottling'.
Published: 1st September 2012